Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Networked Life
20 Questions and Answers

CAD$48.95 (P)

  • Date Published: September 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107024946

CAD$ 48.95 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • How does Google sell ad space and rank webpages? How does Netflix recommend movies and Amazon rank products? How can you influence people on Facebook and Twitter and can you really reach anyone in six steps? Why doesn't the Internet collapse under congestion and does it have an Achilles' heel? Why are you charged per gigabyte for mobile data and how can Skype and BitTorrent be free? How are cloud services so scalable and why is WiFi slower at hotspots than at home? Driven by twenty real-world questions about our networked lives, this book explores the technology behind the multi-trillion dollar Internet and wireless industries. Providing easily understandable answers for the casually curious, alongside detailed explanations for those looking for in-depth discussion, this thought-provoking book is essential reading for students in engineering, science and economics, for network industry professionals and anyone curious about how technological and social networks really work.

    • Provides simple, easily understandable answers for the casually curious, alongside longer, more detailed explanations for those looking for in-depth discussion
    • Just-in-time teaching introduces key concepts as needed, avoiding unnecessary over-complication
    • Examples are based around well-known real-world services and technologies, making it easy to relate theory to practice
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'How do the networks, which we increasingly rely upon in our everyday life, actually work? This book is an inspiring romp through the big ideas in networking, which is immediately rewarding and will motivate later courses.' - Frank Kelly, Professor of the Mathematics of Systems, Master of Christ's College, University of Cambridge, UK

    "We are entering a new Internet era -- the era of the likes of Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook with entirely new types of problems. This book captures the new era, taking a fresh approach to both topic coverage and pedagogic style. Often at the end a section it leaves the reader asking questions; then exactly those questions are answered in the subsequent section. Every university should offer a course based on this book. It could be taught out of both ECE or CS departments at the undergraduate or graduate levels." - Keith Ross, Leonard J. Shustek Chair Professor in Computer Science, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, US, Co-author of "Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach"

    "Mung Chiang's Networked Life has an intriguing premise and an ambitious vision...Chiang's framing of the material as 20 intriguing questions about networks, their architectures, and associated phenomena ties theory to practical systems that students encounter every day...Chiang's course surely pushes the boundaries of the traditional lecture, and the book similarly is meant to be a next-generation work." - Lynn Andrea Stein, Science

    "Chiang takes a fresh new look at the networking discipline and addresses many of the issues that have arisen during the spread of networks such as the web and Facebook. Half of the book treats the network as a graph and explores many of its features in a graph-theoretic way. The author does not intend to replace traditional networking books, but wants to enhance them in a way that encompasses the new discipline of network science...Chiang manages to avoid information overload by using examples from well-known real-world services and technologies, making it easy to relate theory to practice. The book could be used in advanced undergraduate courses or in a post-graduate course on networking...I particularly liked the exercises in each chapter, and the fact that the book only references a handful of the most significant bibliographic entries at the end of each chapter...Overall, the book is unique in that it masterfully combines the networking and network science disciplines in a single volume." - Dimitrios Katsaros, Computing Reviews, June 2013

    " engaging undergraduate textbook that explains the foundations of many of the networks that now are part of our daily routine...The author organizes the material in the Socratic style, using practical questions instead of the more common (dry) survey of concepts and techniques. It provides just enough information to whet the reader’s appetite and spur interest in networks..." - Fernando Berzal, Computing Reviews, July 2013

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107024946
    • length: 503 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 188 x 23 mm
    • weight: 1.25kg
    • contains: 300 b/w illus. 20 tables 100 exercises
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. What makes CDMA work for my cell phone?
    2. How does Google sell ad space?
    3. How does Google rank webpages?
    4. How does Netflix recommend movies?
    5. When can I trust product ratings on Amazon?
    6. Why does Wikipedia even work?
    7. How do I viralize a YouTube video and tip a Groupon deal?
    8. How do I influence people on Facebook and Twitter?
    9. Can I really reach anyone in 6 steps?
    10. Does the Internet have an Achilles' heel?
    11. Why do AT&T and Verizon Wireless charge me $10 a GB?
    12. How can I pay less for my internet connection?
    13. How does traffic get through the internet?
    14. Why doesn't the internet collapse under congestion?
    15. How can Skype and BitTorrent be free?
    16. What's inside the cloud of iCloud?
    17. Netflix, iTunes, IPTV: which way to watch video?
    18. Why is WiFi faster at home than at a hotspot?
    19. Why am I only getting a few percent of advertised 4G speed?
    20. Is it fair that my neighbour's iPhone downloads faster?

  • Resources for

    Networked Life

    Mung Chiang

    Find resources associated with this title

    Type Name Unlocked * Format Size

    Showing of

    Back to top

    *This title has one or more locked files and access is given only to instructors adopting the textbook for their class. We need to enforce this strictly so that solutions are not made available to students. To gain access to locked resources you either need first to sign in or register for an account.

    These resources are provided free of charge by Cambridge University Press with permission of the author of the corresponding work, but are subject to copyright. You are permitted to view, print and download these resources for your own personal use only, provided any copyright lines on the resources are not removed or altered in any way. Any other use, including but not limited to distribution of the resources in modified form, or via electronic or other media, is strictly prohibited unless you have permission from the author of the corresponding work and provided you give appropriate acknowledgement of the source.

    If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Algorithms at the End of the Wire
    • Data Communications
    • Emerging Computing Systems, Social Networks
    • Independent Study on Networking
    • Introduction to Networking and Telecommunications
    • Networking Foundations
    • Networks: Evolutionary, Revolutionary, Digital
    • Organizational Intelligence
  • Author

    Mung Chiang, Princeton University, New Jersey
    Mung Chiang is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University and Director of the Princeton EDGE Lab. He has received the IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award and a US Presidential Award for Scientists and Engineers, for his research on networking. A co-founder and advisor to several startups, he also received a Technology Review TR35 Award for his contributions to network technology innovation and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.